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					                   UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

                FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA





UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,         )

                                  )

        Plaintiff,                )

                                  )

     v.                           )
                                  )
THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA;      )
the SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT     )
OF MENTAL HEALTH, and the C.M.    )
TUCKER, Jr. NURSING CARE CENTER, )
                                  )      CIVIL NO. 3:09-cv-98
                                  )
                                  )
               Defendants.        )
__________________________________)

                             COMPLAINT

     PLAINTIFF, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (“Plaintiff”), by

its undersigned attorneys, hereby alleges upon information and

belief:

     1.   The Attorney General files this Complaint on behalf of

the United States of America pursuant to the Civil Rights of

Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997, to enjoin the

named Defendants from depriving residents of the C.M. Tucker, Jr.

Nursing Care Center (“Tucker Center”), located in Columbia, South

Carolina, of rights, privileges, or immunities secured and

protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

                      JURISDICTION AND VENUE

     2.   This Court has jurisdiction over this action under

28 U.S.C §§ 1331 and 1345.
                                 - 2 -

     3.   The United States is authorized to initiate this action

pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997a.

     4.   The Attorney General has certified that all pre-filing

requirements specified in 42 U.S.C. § 1997b have been met.      The

Certificate of the Attorney General is appended to this Complaint

and is incorporated herein.

     5.   Venue in the District of South Carolina is proper

pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391.

                              DEFENDANTS

     6.   Defendant State of South Carolina (“State”) owns and

operates Tucker Center, and as such has responsibility for the

services and supports provided to individuals residing there.

     7.   Defendant South Carolina Department of Mental Health

(“SCDMH”) has responsibility for overseeing the operation of

Tucker Center.

    8.    Defendant C.M. Tucker, Jr. Nursing Care Center is a

state nursing home located in Columbia, South Carolina, which

provides skilled and long-term nursing care and related services

for residents who require medical or nursing care, and

rehabilitation services for injured, disabled, or sick persons

who require such services.    Tucker Center also includes any

building or facilities constructed, renovated, added to replace

any Tucker Center building existing at the time this Complaint is

filed, and/or designated as part of the facility in the future.
                                - 3 -

                         FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS


     9.    Defendants are legally responsible, in whole or in part,

for the operation of Tucker Center, and for the health and safety

of persons residing at Tucker Center.

     10.   Tucker Center is an institution within the meaning of

42 U.S.C. § 1997(1).    Tucker Center is a nursing home that

provides custodial or residential, intermediate or long-term,

skilled nursing care.

     11.   Defendants are obligated to operate Tucker Center in a

manner that does not infringe upon the federal rights of

individuals residing at Tucker Center, as protected by the

Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and

by other federal law.

     12.   Defendants are obligated to provide services and

activities to individuals residing at Tucker Center in a manner

and environment consistent with Title XVIII and Title XIX of the

Social Security Act and implementing regulations.

42 U.S.C. § 1395i-3, 42 U.S.C. § 1396r, 42 C.F.R. § 483.

     13.   Defendants are obligated to provide services, programs,

and activities to individuals residing at Tucker Center

consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and

implementing regulations.    42 U.S.C. § 12132,

28 C.F.R. § 35.130(d).
                                - 4 -

     14.   At all relevant times, Defendants have acted or failed

to act, as alleged herein, under color of state law.

     15.   Individuals are admitted to Tucker Center because they

require skilled and long-term nursing care and related services

and/or rehabilitation services for injuries, disabilities or

sickness and require residential medical or nursing care,

rehabilitation services, or health care and services for the

treatment of such conditions.

     16.   Tucker Center’s supports and services substantially

depart from generally accepted professional standards of care,

thereby exposing individuals residing at Tucker Center to

significant risk and, in some cases, to actual harm.

     17.   Tucker Center’s supports and services substantially

depart from generally accepted professional standards of care in

the following specific respects, among others:

           a.	   the implementation and review of comprehensive

                 healthcare plans;

           b.	   the proper diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric

                 illness, and the proper use of psychotropic

                 medication;

           c.	   the appropriate management of pain and suffering;

           d.	   the implementation of adequate measures to ensure

                 a safe environment and to prevent injury from

                 falls;
                                - 5 -

           e.	   the provision of adequate nutritional and

                 hydration services;

           f.	   the provision of adequate activities for physical

                 and mental stimulation; and

           g.	   safe and sanitary living conditions.

     18.   Defendants have failed to assess individuals residing

at Tucker Center to ascertain whether these individuals are

receiving adequate treatment, supports, and services in the most

integrated setting appropriate to their individual needs; to

ensure that those individuals whom professionals determine should

be served in the community are served in the community, when

appropriate; and to make certain that these individuals are

served in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

                         VIOLATIONS ALLEGED

     19.   The United States incorporates by reference the

allegations set forth in Paragraphs 1 through 18 as if fully set

forth herein.

     20.   The acts and omissions alleged in Paragraphs 16 and 17

constitute a pattern or practice that violates the federal rights

of individuals residing at Tucker Center, as protected by the

Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and

by other federal law.

     22.   The acts and omissions alleged in Paragraphs 16 and 17

violate Title XVIII and Title XIX of the Social Security Act and
                               - 6 -

implementing regulations.   42 U.S.C. § 1395i-3, 42 U.S.C.

§ 1396r, 42 C.F.R. § 483.

     23.   The acts and omissions alleged in Paragraph 18 violate

the Americans with Disabilities Act and implementing regulations.

42 U.S.C. § 12132, 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(d).

     24.   Unless restrained by this Court, Defendants will

continue to engage in the acts and omissions set forth in

Paragraphs 16 through 18 that deprive Tucker Center residents of

rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the

Constitution of the United States and by other federal law, and

will cause irreparable harm to these residents.

                         PRAYER FOR RELIEF

     25.    The Attorney General is authorized under

42 U.S.C. § 1997 to seek equitable relief.
                          - 7 -



WHEREFORE, the United States prays that this Court:

a.	   permanently enjoin Defendants, their officers, agents,

      employees, subordinates, successors in office, and all

      those acting in concert or participation with them from

      continuing the acts, omissions, and practices set forth

      in Paragraphs 16 through 18 above, and require

      Defendants to take such actions as will bring

      Defendants into compliance with federal law and ensure

      that adequate protections, supports, and services are

      afforded to Tucker Center residents, including the

      provision of adequate treatment in the most integrated

      setting appropriate to their individual needs; and

b. 	 grant such other and further equitable relief as this

      Court may deem just and proper.

                          Respectfully submitted,

                          UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff



                          /s/ Michael B. Mukasey
                          MICHAEL B. MUKASEY
                          Attorney General of the United
                          States
                             - 8 -




___________________              /s/ Grace Chung Becker
W. WALTER WILKINS                GRACE CHUNG BECKER
United States Attorney           Acting Assistant
District of South Carolina         Attorney General
                                 Civil Rights Division


_____________________            /s/ Shanetta Y. Cutlar
KEVIN F. McDONALD                SHANETTA Y. CUTLAR
First Assistant United           Chief
  States Attorney                Special Litigation Section
District of South Carolina
                                 /s/ Judy Preston
                                 JUDY C. PRESTON
                                 Deputy Chief
                                 Special Litigation Section


                                  /s/ Cathleen S. Trainor
                                 CATHLEEN S. TRAINOR
                                 SHERIDAN L. ENGLAND
                                 Trial Attorneys
                                 Civil Rights Division
                                 Special Litigation Section
                                 U.S. Department of Justice
                                 950 Pennsylvania Avenue
                                 Washington, DC 20530
                                 (202) 616-9009
                                 cathleen.trainor@usdoj.gov

				
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